Consider the situation depicted below. An XCOM soldier (x) is next to both high (H) and low (L) cover. An enemy (e) is positioned such that the low cover is what prevents the soldier from being flanked.


When the enemy shoots at the soldier, does the game use the low or the high cover to calculate its chance to hit?

  • 3
    If the low cover wasn't there, the soldier would be flanked (similar to if the high cover didn't exist)... so I would assume it uses the low cover to calculate.
    – Mage Xy
    Feb 7, 2017 at 17:30
  • Also, you have this tagged with both Enemy Unknown and XCOM2. Aren't those two different games? The mechanics might be different, you might want to specify exactly which version you want.
    – Mage Xy
    Feb 7, 2017 at 18:20
  • I think this mechanic is the same in both games. I could have asked two identical questions, one for each game, but that felt silly.
    – Nova
    Feb 8, 2017 at 0:53

2 Answers 2


If the game has to choose between high and low cover, it will choose high. However, in your example the only choice is "low".

Please see this image describing how cover works in the game - the cover system is actually fairly complicated. If the enemy were 2 spaces to the right in your example, the game would have to choose between "high" and "low" and would thus choose "high".

  • 2
    You are linking to an image pertaining to XCOM EU. I'm aware OP has tagged both EU and XCOM2, but your description does not match how it works in EU. When choosing between cover (half/full), EU favors the cover that blocks the shot (based on opponent angle). I.e. there is a split on the 45° angle. This means that being in both low and high cover can be worse than not having the low cover. Because when there is only one piece of (full) cover, then the game will always pick the high cover (barring flanks). Not sure if XCOM2 changed this.
    – Flater
    May 18, 2017 at 14:14

It is based off of the cover that is between the enemy and your soldier. Horizontally and Vertically. That is why flanking is important, to exploit lower or no cover.

In your scenario the enemy has a line of sight that goes over low cover, thus is will calculate low cover into the accuracy.

If an enemy ran to his right, it would account for the high cover.

If it was on an angle, and both can be account for, it would choose the higher cover as mentioned by @Blue Raja.

  • I would imagine for the angled shots it would calculate cover based on which cover was closer to the 90 degree angle where the cover is. So having the shot be further towards the high cover would make the shot closer to being directly in high cover but not the full cover.
    – Ramirez
    Feb 7, 2017 at 18:15
  • -1 cover is not based on LOS, it's only based on the relative horizontal/vertical position (which is fairly different). For example, if the enemy were two squares to the right it would be high-cover, no matter how many squares he moved up/down. Also there is no such thing as "between high and low cover", it is either one or the other (or flanked) Feb 7, 2017 at 18:26
  • @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft you say it is not based off of LoS and is based off of the horizontal/vertical positioning alone, but your image that details the cover system talks about LoS and discusses that vs the coverage line that each amount of cover "projects" in an infinite line across
    – n_plum
    Feb 7, 2017 at 19:03
  • 1
    @n_palum: Yes, that's correct. Visibility is affected by LOS: if something blocks LOS (including high cover) between (side-stepped) you and (side-stepped) opponent, you won't be able to target them at all. However whether the cover is high/low/flanked depends only on the relative X/Y offsets, not LOS. Feb 8, 2017 at 0:59

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